The issue of the Aztec practice of human sacrifice is not covered at all. Only 1 sentence of page 10 which deals with the pre-Aztec city of Teotihuacan, "The civilization also engaged in warfare between states and held terrifying public rituals of human sacrifice". In his work, The Conquest of New Spain, Bernal Diaz del Castillo describes the march on Mexico with his captain, Hernan Cortés, in 1519.
"The Spanish forces set out from the Gulf of Mexico, and one of the first towns they visited was Cempoala, situated near the coast, where Cortés told the chiefs that "they would have to abandon their idols which they mistakenly believed in and worshipped, and sacrifice no more souls to them." As Diaz relates: "Every day they sacrificed before our eyes three, four, or five Indians, whose hearts were offered to those idols, and whose blood was plastered on the walls. The feet, arms, and legs of their victims were cut off and eaten, just as we eat beef from the butcher's in our country. I even believe that they sold it in the tianguez, or markets. Of their stay in Tenochtitlan, the present-day Mexico City and the heart of the Aztec empire, Diaz writes that Emperor Montezuma's servants prepared for their master more than thirty dishes cooked in their native style ... I have heard that they used to cook him the flesh of young boys. But as he had such a variety of dishes, made of so many different ingredients, we could not tell whether a dish was of human flesh or anything else ... I know for certain, however, that after our Captain spoke against the sacrifice of human beings and the eating of their flesh, Montezuma ordered that it should no longer be served to him".
In renouncing cannibalism, was Montezuma cooperating in the destruction of his Aztec "cultural roots," or was he aiding a victory of civilized custom over barbaric? The book, Out of Many doesn't tell us. A few pages later, Diaz provides a detailed description of the manner of their [that is, the Aztecs'] sacrifices.
"They strike open the wretched Indian's chest with flint knives and hastily tear out the palpitating heart which, with the blood, they present to the idols in whose name they have performed the sacrifice. Then they cut off the arms, thighs, and head, eating the arms and thighs at their ceremonial banquets. The head they hang up on a beam, and the body of the sacrificed man is not eaten but given to the beasts of prey. Diaz also describes the great market of Tenochtitlan, and its dealers in gold, silver, and precious stones, feather, cloaks, and embroidered goods, and male and female slaves who are also sold there. They bring as many slaves to be sold in that market as the Portuguese bring Negroes from Guinea. Some are brought there attached to long poles by means of collars round their necks to prevent them from escaping, but others are left loose." Slavery??? According to the book, Out of Many, only white males practice this form of "barbarism".
Diaz was there. He is not an historian but somebody who witnessed and wrote about what he saw. Did these peoples – these Mexican-Americans, these Native Americans, – really lose more than they gained in their confrontation with the West? Were they robbed of nobility, and coarsened? Or did White subjugation force them to shed savagery and barbarity, and bring them, however unwillingly, into civilized humanity? We don't know, for the book, Out of Many omits anything that questions the prevailing status quo.
This book, Out of Many, replaces historical fact with historical myth, in my humble opinion. It's a slanted view of American history and places the guilt and burden on Europeans. (i.e. white males). It's no accident that this book is written the way it is.
If you like, we can discuss the
Founding Fathers, the African slave trade, civil war, WWI, the depression
and new deal, WWII, Pearl Harbor, the civil rights movement, etc. Or I
can just take mindless quizzes and tests and try for a passing grade?
Are you angry about the way the historians wrote history or what happened in history? Is the question of guilt impeded in your query? Should one fill guilty for what European's did to the Native American or did they do them a favor by exterminating them by the million because of desease and overwork and enslaving them. This was done by all Europeans, including Americans from the United States. Where some the Native American cruel also. Some were and many were not. What was was stolen or borrowed from the Native American is another question one might ask. Most of our food stuff was cultivated initially from Native American, particularly from those of Central and South America. Are all humans and culture capable of cruelty? The answer is yes. Have they been brutal? Yes. Have Native Americans been capable of great things, such medicines, art, liturture, humanity, great structures? The answer is yes. You might start to look at all humanity and see what they have done. No country or individual is either all good or all bad. When we learn this, we can become more compassionate and forgiving. The European did great things, but often at the expense of other civilizations. This too they must recognize. Much of what the United States faces and other European countries, such as mass migration into their territories and terrorism stems from what went out over the past thousand years. Continue to ponder and remember that also wrongs have been made by all people and the rise of humanity is to learn from those errors and make life for all human being a better world. Will we survive to achieve this goal? I sometimes wonder if we will.